Economic and technological changes have caused significant changes in global commerce. With the changes in global commerce, the activity of shopping has changed and consumer attitudes when shopping have similarly evolved. Nevertheless, shoppers across the world commonly aspire to find a merchant with the combination of best prices and quality products so that they can purchase what their need without unnecessary financial harm. This is the definition of shopping smartly. Individuals can shop smartly by preparing adequately, leveraging the benefits of technology, and exercising rationality.
Adequate preparation is crucial to smart shopping. For those who want to get the best quality products for the best price, planning before starting shopping is the first step. Adequate preparation involves understanding one’s budget and creating a shopping list. The Consumer Federation advises that one should try to not get “wrapped up in debt” when shopping (Gillis). Shopping smartly is about ensuring that one knows how they are going to pay for a particular product and this decision is financially sound. Once the potential spend is decided upon, the next step is to create a shopping list. The preparation process involves making adjustments to ensure that the shopping exercise meets the individual’s needs and also protects their finances.
In the age of technology where technology dominates commerce, smart shopping would not be smart without leveraging the benefits of technology. Technology has provided consumers with various applications that offer various functionalities that can come in handy before, during and after the shopping exercise. Smart shopping involves using price comparison tools on the internet to find which merchant offers the best prices for quality products (Gillis). Smart shoppers also know how to siphon through the maze that is information on the internet to find credible reviews that will guide their shopping decisions. While using technology to guide one’s shopping has its risks, adequate preparation can help one avoid the pitfalls of using the internet such as scammers. When one leverages the benefits of technology the probability of a quality and fulfilling shopping experience increases.
Shopping smartly also involves consistent exercising of rationality right from the preparation stage to the in-shopping experience. Rationality involves making good decisions which are anchored on “pragmatism and the ability of calculation” (Reformat 169). Contemporarily, consumers often have a variety of options to choose from with various techniques such as in-shopping advertisements used to attract consumers to products that they had no intention of buying. Through pragmatism and anchoring decisions on calculations, the shopper is able to make the right purchasing decisions from the variety of merchant choices available to them. Rationality is also important is avoiding the pitfall of making buys based on emotional impulses which derails many efforts of shopping smartly. By employing rationality in their shopping activities, smart shoppers are able to stick to their shopping plans and get the best value for their money.
Shopping smartly involves combining rigorous preparation, leveraging the benefits of technology, and employing rationality. Rigorous preparation involves knowing the specific products one intends to buy and how they are going to pay for these products. The smart shopper then leverages the benefits of technology such as price comparison tools and credible reviews among others which helps them select the merchants with the best quality for the best prices. Rationality drives the smart shopper decisions with pragmatism and knowledge derived decision making guiding them during the shopping experience. The combination of these three ensures that the shopper gets value for money every time they decide to shop.
Gillis, Jack. “Shopping Smart: CFA’s Jack Gillis Releases His Latest Tips to Keep Holiday Shopping From Becoming a January Hangover · Consumer Federation of America.” Consumer Federation of America, 27 Feb. 2020, consumerfed.org/press_release/shopping-smart-cfas-jack-gillis-releases-his-latest-tips-to-keep-holiday-shopping-from-becoming-a-january-hangover/. Accessed 15 Feb. 2022.
Reformat, Beata. “The idea of smart shopping-the generation of smart consumers.” Studia Ekonomiczne 149 (2013): 166-175.